- Rhenie Dalger
Community Leaders and Advocates Get Limited Wins As City of Miami Commissioners Approve the Magic Ci
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 28, 2019 Contacts:
Community Leaders and Advocates Get Limited Wins As
City of Miami Commissioners Approve the Magic City SAP
(MIAMI) - This morning at 1 AM, Miami City Commissioners unanimously approved the highly controversial $1B Magic City Special Area Plan on first reading — after discussing the many concerns expressed by residents, business owners, community leaders, and the City of Miami’s experts within the planning and zoning department.
The 25-story, 17-acre SAP was approved conditionally, with the developer being asked to increase the per-square-foot contribution to a so-called community trust and accelerate the payout timeline. The developer also has committed to host two widely advertised town hall meetings — a request our groups have been raising for more than a year now. In response to our repeated calls for on-site affordable housing, the developer was also made to commit to clearly laying out and expanding affordable and workforce housing offerings in their final plan.
With this vote, the City of Miami approves a closed room process for negotiating SAP community benefits agreements that will now serve as a troubling model for other neighborhoods of the city. Commissioners also cast last night’s vote knowing very well that this project will accelerate rapid gentrification in Little Haiti. It was well established in the record—and voiced by numerous commissioners in light of the Magic City project—that Little Haiti homeowners and business owners are now facing increased threat of rapid displacement due to the impacts of sea level rise and climate change.
Commissioners also sped through a vote earlier in the day yesterday approving the $31M Little Haiti Revitalization Trust on first reading, in a 4 - 0 vote. Residents called foul to what is essentially the greenlighting of a third multi-million dollar neighborhood revitalization trust run to be set up by Keon Hardemon. (Out of the 5 person board to be created, 4 will be appointed by Hardemon).
This fast-tracked creation of the trust and SAP approval is a slap in the face to the coalition of homeowners, business owners, and community leaders who came out to voice their concerns. They were joined by allies and supporters—but it was Little Haiti residents and business owners who spoke most compellingly about the profound impact this mega-development will have on the neighborhood’s residents and businesses.
Despite calling for a complete moratorium on all Special Area Plans (SAPs), and requests to wait for the results of a recently funded $4 million study on climate gentrification, backroom deals appeared to have carried the day.
The proposals are up for a second, and final, approval on June 27. We will continue to make our voices heard at the required town halls and meetings to ensure that the SAP process protects the business owners and residents in Little Haiti. Please sign our petition letter here.
The following is a statement by Marleine Bastien, Executive Director of Family Action Network Movement (FANM):
“Magic City as currently structured cannot be the model for Miami’s future. Its proposed 25 story 17-acre mega-development with 11 liquor licenses is totally out-of-sync with the character of our neighborhood. A multimillion-dollar ransom to a trust controlled by a single elected official will not erase this fact. We remain opposed to this project in its current form and will continue to oppose it through every avenue available. We ask the City of Miami Commission to respect its own rules as stipulated in Miami 21, reject this project on second reading and say no to displacement, gentrification, and over-development in Little Haiti.”